October 6, 2023
Around this time of year, my children (now in their 20s) would grow drowsy over my seemingly endless incantations of Keats’ To Autumn , one of the most mellifluous poems in the English language. The first stanza is ripe with images abundance as this “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and its “maturing sun” work together to fatten the harvest and set to “budding more, and still more, later flowers for the bees, until they think warm days will never cease.”
Our campus is still blooming with “later flowers” – lavender, clover, Frost aster, Wrinkleleaf goldenrod, Maximilian sunflowers, and still more. And, as you may know, Thaden is now home to a thriving colony of honeybees. Under the benign rule of Queen Louise, they pollinate our learning habitat and sweeten our tables with the golden nectar of their productivity. Our apiary also connects Thaden to the history of our home region: given the bee’s vital importance to agriculture, the Great Seal of Arkansas has featured a beehive and a bushel of wheat since 1836, when our state entered the Union, and fifty years ago the General Assembly officially recognized the honeybee (Apis mellifera) as our state insect. In the words of the citation supporting that legislation, this “diligent and willing worker typifies the outstanding citizens of the state of Arkansas.”
Our campus is now buzzing with Arkansan diligence as we enter a month filled with theatrical performances, culminating athletic competitions, cross-cultural pollinations, and, of course, the annual Harvest Festival on October 27.
Together we work to make Thaden bloom.
Clayton K. Marsh
Founding Head of School